To not know how anyone gets anything done with a baby/toddler?(73 Posts)
There have been a few threads lately that have made me a little uncomfortable.
Comments along the lines of 'being a sahm is a job which you either do well or do badly'
It's the sahp job to make the home nice for the working parent to come home to'
'With one child at home you should be able to do x, y and z'
'Your husband shouldn't have to cook or now the lawn after work'
I am only think they've never met my toddler.
I do work but part time and I've been off ill recently so have been at home.
My toddler can be so demanding. Even when I pop him in his cot to shower he screams the place down. I've no chance of putting on make up or doing my hair. I make the beds, give the two dc breakfast then do the school run. Usually having a fight beforehand to get toddler dressed and coat on.
I get back and try to have a piece of toast while toddler climbs all over me and eats most of my toast, even if I make him his own toast he wants mine.
We then either go out for the morning or I attempt to do a few jobs.
If I try to fold washing he pulls it all over, if I try to hang washing in clothes airer he pulls it all off. If I pop him in his highchair to unload dishwasher and wipe sides he screams blue murder.
If I try to hoover or dust or anything he opens all the drawers and wardrobes and pulls everything out, shoe boxes, pants, socks. He throws all the shoes out of the shoe basket.
The only way to really stop him trashing the house is to play with him to keep him occupied so I do that.
Then I make him some lunch and he has a nap.
I usually sit for a bit and have a drink then start on some jobs. Usually picking up the trail of mess everyone has left for me. Clothes and random crap my husband has strewn about, loading, hanging and folding washing, picking up toys, clearing up after lunch, cleaning the bathroom, the fridge, mop floors. basically whatever needs doing. Sometimes I prepare a meal for later.
Then it's time to wake toddler up and do the school run, toddler usually again screams blue murder at being woken up and we have another fight to get his coat on and get him out. He might do a poo and we will have a fight to do his nappy which might involve us both ending up getting shit on us and changing.
After school I give kids a quick snack then 3 nights a week I'm back out from 4 running around to various after school activities. If not doing that there's homework, reading. books, spellings to learn or an evening meal to cook. Toddler will usually scream while I cook.
Then it's husband home at 6 if we are lucky, eat, clean up again, bath kids, read kids stories, brush teeth, husband needs a good shower after work or a 30 minute soak in the bath and we sit down at 8pm if we are lucky.
Bed at 10 and repeat. Husband usually falls asleep on the sofa at 9 anyway.
So yeah there are nights my husband gets home and the house is a mess, there are nights he gets in and I haven't cooked and we get chips or he makes us an omelette or some freezer food. There are nights I'm so frazzled the last thing on my mind is my husband full stop.
Of course I've tried all the usual tricks putting toddler in front of the tv, ignoring, getting him to 'help'. It doesn't really work. Occasionally we have a great few days and I get on top of it all, but for the most part he's a high demanding toddler.
I feel like I'm spread quite thinly and I can either put my efforts into the dc, or the house, but I can't do it all.
I'm not at the toddler stage yet but I know a lot of people with babies. My impression is that it depends a lot on the type of baby you have and how happy they are to nap/play independently. Those with more placid babies do seem to get a lot done, those with more 'spirited' babies less so.
I can imagine it must get 100x harder once they're toddlers, properly on the move and napping less during the day.
for you, it sounds stressful.
It seems like you do an awful lot my lovely!
Ignore what others say ..
If you sent your kids to nursery and they let your kids scream and cry you'd be very angry indeed. You wouldn't think it was acceptable ! So surely it works the same way - you look after your kids so why would you be expected to let them scream and cry? Kids need playing with to develop!
I'm a SAHM - I get all the jobs I can done and to be fair my DD is happy to help with washing and sits in the kitchen, but if she wasn't I wouldn't do them if she was upset as your DC!!! No way! My DH expects me to look after our kid and do what I can around that. He doesn't expect perfection when he gets home. I try but sometimes it isn't possible !
SAHM is a job in itself - if being a nursery nurse is a full time job then so is SAHM.
Yes I do extra stuff at the weekend because I want my DH to be able to spend time with DD , rather than cleaning . However he does plenty as well
Don't worry what others think! And enjoy your tea breaks - I'm having one now... And if anyone tells us we shouldn't well you tell them to do a day at work with no break for a hot drink and see how they respond !
Thanks. I probably shouldn't read too much into things I read on mn.
I should add I didn't have too many problems with my first. He'd happily sit around with a pile of toys or watching tv, plus I just had more time with only one.
They are SO different.
I used to swap round what I did. So in the house I'd sit and have a brew and MN a bit whilst they played with toys (made a mess!!) Then when they nap I'd flee round the place as quick as possible to do stuff.
Things I found helped - make a sink up of scalding hot soapy water and as plates and cups get used chuck them in. By native the water was still warm enough to wipe and rinse and put on the rack.
Laundry- clean stuff all just got chucked in a massive ikea bag and dumped on our bed. Meant it was away from the living room but the lowest level of effort I could get away with.
Big wicker lidded hamper in the living room so toys just got thrown in (means 2 mins job instead of 10-15).
Breakfast I'd do toast for each of us and dump it all on one plate. We'd share.
All kids are different you sound like you're doing a brilliant job!!!
We are planning to TTC for number two soon and my DH knows full well the days of coming home to a pristine house will be over !!!!!
I think that you should do what you can to be comfortable in your own home and not worry too much about the rest, if that makes me a lazy slattern I couldn't give two fucks to be honest.
That sounds so tough and it sounds like you're doing fabulously.
When people write comments like in your op, and I admit I have been known to, they need to add the disclaimer 'in my own particular situation, with my dc who will happily play independently, I am able to....'
There is no like-for-like here, every child is different. Don't beat yourself up.
I hear you OP, my DD won't play on her own really, she wants constant interaction. I do what I can but it's more important that she is happy than the house is clean!
Ah, I have found my people. I only have one, but I still don't get as much done as I'd like to. He is into everything and a danger to himself... between him and the dog, it's pretty much nonstop. (Yes, I am posting here while he's asleep. Yes, I could be doing jobs. However, I've been awake since 4.30am, so, naaah, I think my feet deserve to be up for a moment!) I manage to keep us all fed, clothed and the house is mostly clean and tidy but damn me, it's a slog some days. And I bloody well do expect DH to do his bit (and so does he, or I'd never have married him. Who ARE all these men willing to sit on their arses while their partners wear themselves to a frazzle?!)
I was somewhat disheartened to see a poster on another thread dismiss having one child as 'hardly full time'... it feels pretty full on from this end.
Zara your toddler sounds exactly the same as mine.
I used to feel like such a failure when I was on mat leave as I felt surrounded by mums with quiet, placid, calm little babies who napped in their cots on demand and lay/sat happily entertaining themselves while the mums got all the housework done, did baking and crafty things and cooked amazing gourmet meals.
I was lucky to have a shower.
My DS has always been incredibly "spirited" and active and when we are at home will not let me do anything that doesn't involve him (usually making a mess or destroying something). I love him to bits and he is such a little entertainer but he definitely has to be centre of attention!
Don't listen to all the "you should be able to do x y z" comments - it completely depends on your baby! You're doing an amazing job
It is the curse of the third child. They are swines....
I think it really is the luck of the draw. If you have a placid child who sleeps a lot during the day and is happy to be left playing then you can get more done. If you have a whirlwind toddler and a velcro baby, as I did, you can achieve almost nothing, especially if you're worn down and not feeling 100%
I must admit to being sceptical of some people's claims that they are SAHPs and their house is always 5* hotel standard clean, it only takes them 15 minutes to do a load of laundry, iron, fold, put everything away..
We have 3 DCs and DH was away a lot with work when the older two were babies. He's been around much more with DC3 and he admits that it's only now he understands how much stuff there is to do and how hard it is to get things done when you're holding a yowling baby.
Its a bit like being a machine when you are a mum to an active toddler. All the repetative tasks and picking up and putting away. Its demoralising and thankless. And pretty endless. But....it does end, when they start pre school and you get a couple hours. I think it is the hardest time really and being a SAHM can be so mindnumbing. Just do what you can do and if you can meet up with other mums and have a good old moan then that can help.
As with everything related to parenting, ignore other people. Unless they're trying to help you.
I'm not at toddler stage yet but have a very demanding velcro baby. Now he can crawl it's easier as he can entertain himself for a while but mostly he needs constant attention and always has.
When I was on mat leave I did manage all the housework, cooking etc but it was a battle and I only did it because I'm stubborn / fussy about things being 'just so' and honestly would let my baby cry for a minute or two to finish a job. Maybe that makes me a bad mum but that's my way and others have theirs. I would never judge another parent for not being able to get to household tasks - every baby is different as is every parent!
I'm a sahm to 3 boys aged 6, 2 and 1 and my house is usually a mess! Between school runs, meals and naps ( different times for the wee ones) not much full on cleaning is done during the week. It's as much as I can do to keep semi on top of washing and putting away clothes (Def no time for ironing!) Dishes get done, meals get cooked and children are played with as otherwise they do just pull the place apart.
I got nothing done with my toddlers. They wanted attention all the time and when they 'helped' with housework, I'd spend an age sorting out the mess afterwards. My sister had placid DCs. I called them 'the colouring book girls' as they were content to amuse themselves endlessly with quiet clean activities.
You are not alone OP. I have a 1yo and a 4yo. DC1 is generally fine but a mess making machine. DC2 just follows me everywhere and wants to climb all over me. I figure I have at least another 2 years before I'm actually able to do housework to my satisfaction
MN is full of people who seem to be able to juggle everything as is FB. I know someone on FB with 3 under 5 years old who regularly posts pics of the various crafting activities she conjures up and or 'Frozen Day' where she transforms the entire house into the film set...I mean WTF?
You've described exactly why I couldn't be a SAHM. I have one toddler and due baby soon. DS is in nursery/with my mum 4 days a week and I work 4 days. On mat leave he'll continue that. We also have a cleaner. I know I'm very lucky but I honestly couldn't manage everything so hats off to you, you're doing a great job.
OP, I could have written your post and I have only one child. The only way to get anything done is to give her the iPad, and I really don't want to do that too much. Basically nothing gets done unless my DP is at home, when we take turns to watch DD or race around DOING STUFF. It wasn't so bad while she still had a post-lunch nap. <sigh>
I'll echo that it depend son your child.
With Dd1 I could have entirely redecorated, never mind cleaned. She played happily and quietly for hours by herself.
DD2 is a nightmare. Left her own devices she drew on walls, flushed things down the toilet, climbed shelves etc etc. my house is a tip because she cannot be trusted. Next year she goes to school and it will be far too quiet but I will again have a tidy place, at least for a couple of hours in the middle of the day!
op I cant do anything with my toddler in tow. As soon as she is away from the home I spring into action i literally can't do anything with her here !
yes it depends on child. baby mine cant be trusted either and copies me all the time.
I called them 'the colouring book girls' as they were content to amuse themselves endlessly with quiet clean activities
^^ like it
Mine are too busy to eat as well, so no quiet time whilst they slowly feed themselves - I am running after like lunatic to get them to sit - and eat something its relentless never stops.
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